As part of a vision for sustainable development, in 2000, the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago enacted the Environmental Management Act Chapter, 35:05 of the Laws of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (the Act).
The Act defines “the environment” as meaning “all land, area beneath the land surface, atmosphere, climate, surface, surface water, groundwater, sea, marine and coastal areas, seabed, wetlands and natural resources within the jurisdiction of Trinidad & Tobago.
The Environmental Management Act and its related Rules and Regulations are public information and can be accessed at the website of the Environmental Commission.
The Environmental Commission is a specialist environmental court. It is a Superior Court of Record created by the Environmental Management Act (Section 81 EM Act). The term “Superior Court of Record” means that it has all the powers that are necessary or required in order to enable it to perform its judicial functions efficiently and effectively, and to protect its dignity, independence and integrity.
The Environmental Commission is made up of six members who hear the environmental matters brought before it. Its Chairman and Deputy Chairman must be attorneys of law of not less than ten years standing. The other members must have knowledge and experience in environmental issues, engineering, the natural sciences or the social sciences. All six members are appointed by the President to hold office for term of not less than three years (Section 82 of EM Act).
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